Middle Township High School golfer P.J. Schulte finished third in the individual scoring in the Central and South Jersey Group I tournament on Tuesday at the par-72 Heron Glen Golf Course in Ringoes.
The 16-year-old sophomore shot a 3-over-par after 11 holes when the tournament was suspended due to lightning and qualified for the Tournament of Champions. Schulte had birdies on the eighth and 11th holes.
“It felt pretty good to qualify,” Schulte said. “I thought I played pretty well today.”
The top two teams and five individuals, including ties, advance to the group championships and Tournament of Champions next Monday at Hopewell Valley Golf Club in Hopewell Township.
Middle Township finished third with a score of 35-over par. The Panthers were seven strokes away from advancing to the group championships.
Schulte said seniors like Peter Conlin, who finished 7-over-par, and Vincent Lamanna (18-over) made his first couple seasons with Middle very memorable.
“My mindset going in was just to play well enough to keep our season going for our seniors,” Schulte said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
Schulte expects to get some practice in before the Tournament of Champions. He hopes to keep the momentum from Tuesday rolling.
“I am looking forward to playing with the best of the best in New Jersey,” Schulte said. “Hopefully I can compete and put up a good score.”
In the Central and South Jersey Group III tournament, Ocean City fell just short of advancing by scoring a 336 to tie Clearview Regional for third place among 15 teams at the par-72 Running Deer Golf Course. Ocean City is No. 7 in the Press Elite 11.
Moorestown, No. 1 in the Press Elite 11, won the title with 330, while West Windsor-Plainsboro North placed second with 331.
Mainland Regional, ranked fifth in the Elite 11, placed eighth with 368, while Hammonton (386) finished 11th.
Clearview’s Gage Wolfe won the individual title with a 2-over-par 74. Allentown’s Tyler Hechtle and West Windsor-Plainsboro North’s Harsh Sharma finished tied for second with 75.
Mainland’s Michael Mitnick shot a 80, while teammate Camille O’Halloran shot a 82. Ocean City’s Josh Brown shot a 81, while teammate Jack Sullivan shot an 84.
Noah Petracci (91) and Chad Syvertson (96) led Hammonton in individual scoring.
On Monday, St. Augustine Prep advanced to the group championships by finishing second in the South Jersey Non-Public A tournament at par-72 Mountain View Golf Course with a score of 326. Christian Brothers Academy won the title shooting a 299.
Jack Wall of Christian Brothers shot a 70, seizing the individual title. Drew Skultety of Bishop Eustace finished second with 75.
The Hermits’ Drue Nicholas, the 2017 Press Golfer of the Year as a freshman, and Michael Paduano (Christian Brothers) tied for fifth with 77 scores.